Digital Dis­cov­er­ies

Jarred Wal­ton, se­nior ed­i­tor, and Alan Dexter, ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor, tell us about their top tech tips of to­day

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB -

GOPRO HERO6 BLACK

GoPro’s lat­est Hero6 Black takes ev­ery­thing you love about GoPro and ups the ante. It can do 4K60, 1440p120, and 1080p240, all with the ex­cel­lent im­age qual­ity and ver­sa­til­ity we’ve come to ex­pect. This is thanks to the new GP1 pro­ces­sor, which also adds HEVC sup­port, im­prov­ing im­age qual­ity with bet­ter col­ors and dy­namic range, and less noise.

The Hero6 has water­proof­ing to 10m, and mount and ac­ces­sory com­pat­i­bil­ity that in­cludes ev­ery­thing you’d need. Its com­pact size al­lows it to go places other cam­eras can’t, in­clud­ing drones, hel­mets, and more. For the per­fect way to cap­ture your sweet aerial moves, look no fur­ther. Im­proved 5GHz Wi-Fi also en­ables faster up­loads.

There are a few caveats. First, bat­tery life is short, so take a spare bat­tery or three if you’re plan­ning on a length­ier ses­sion. The digital im­age sta­bi­liza­tion also isn’t quite as good as op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, so a good grip or clip is highly rec­om­mended.

If you don’t need the higher res­o­lu­tions and frame rates, the Hero5 Black is more af­ford­able, but if you want the best ac­tion cam­era this side of 2019, you’re un­likely to beat the Hero6. Just make sure you have a PC that can han­dle the de­mands of HEVC. $500, www.gopro.com

FCIV UTIL­ITY

I’ve been sniff­ing around cryp­tocur­rency min­ing again. Mainly out of cu­rios­ity, but also to see if it’s worth do­ing. I found my­self look­ing at NiceHash ( www. nicehash.com), with its prom­ise of a sim­ple in­ter­face and sup­port for all the main min­ing al­go­rithms. You do get paid in Bit­coins, re­gard­less of what you’re min­ing, but as a sim­ple so­lu­tion, it’s got a lot go­ing for it.

You may have no­ticed that NiceHash isn’t my “pick,” though, and that’s be­cause after down­load­ing the NiceHash util­ity, I did some­thing I don’t do enough. I de­cided to make sure that the file I down­loaded was indeed the one that the orig­i­na­tor in­tended. I ver­i­fied the check­sum. There are plenty of sto­ries of in­stall­ers be­ing re­placed on rep­utable sites, and ma­li­cious soft­ware find­ing its way into our sys­tems.

Win­dows 10 ships with a tool for check­ing a file’s check­sum, called cer­tu­til, and you run it from the com­mand prompt. How­ever, there’s an­other Mi­crosoft tool called FCIV, or the File Cer­tifi­cate In­tegrity Checker, which is a bit eas­ier to use. Down­load it from http://bit.ly/2BvfQKQ, then check the MD5 check­sum with “fciv -md5 < file­name>.” Just make sure the check­sum you’re com­par­ing it to hasn’t been com­pro­mised as well. Free, www.mi­crosoft.com

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